Light, fluffy banana cake can be an oxymoron because when you bake with bananas they naturally give a moist, denser crumb. For this cake, I wanted an airy, light, fluffy CAKE with the glorious taste of bananas, and didn’t want to eat something resembling banana bread. To help achieve this I separated the eggs, whipped the whites, and folded them in at the end. A light whipped cream topping and fresh banana curd filling finished it off to make this banana cake the best I have ever had!
Light and Fluffy Banana Cake with Fresh Banana Curd Filling
Have you ever made a dessert so good you lie about it to your kids so they won’t eat anymore? Please tell me I’m not the only one who does this.
“Mommy, can I have more of that cake?”
“What cake? Oh the banana cake?…Yeah, I gave it all away to people at the party.” And then I will pacify them with some forgotten about candy you couldn’t pay me to eat.
If you think I am an atrocious Mom for blatantly lying to my children, let me backpedal a bit. I wasn’t completely lying, maybe more like taking liberties with the accuracy of the truth. I brought this Light, Fluffy Banana Cake with Fresh Banana Curd Filling over to Mom’s for Easter. And I did give exactly two pieces away, to my mom and sister.
Since there are always a gluttonous amount of desserts at any get together of my family’s, I took home maybe half the cake. Our family doesn’t like to be pigeon-holed into eating only one kind of dessert. After eating an over-the-top, delicious meal my Mom prepares, we always force down samplings of maybe 4-5 different types of sweet treats.
The best part, though, is the time after the party, when I’m not shoving food to the top of my esophagus prior to eating dessert. Then I can really sit back and actually savor every morsel. Obviously I like to have that sensation over and over again because I become a miser with the leftovers. Whatevs, I didn’t see anyone else standing at the stove coddling a fresh banana curd so it didn’t scorch.
The other privilege any Mom is merited to take, is expecting their children to wear whatever uncomfortable, but so damn cute outfits of their choosing on holidays. You can justifiably dress all your kids up like an army of play dolls, and they can’t give you any grief about it because it’s Easter. Naturally there are some of my kids that take this more in stride than others, but I am unwavering. I want to adoringly gaze over to all my beautiful, dapper children at church, and no one has to know I threatened to take away their Easter basket if they didn’t put the clothes on that I set out for them. Please tell me I’m not the only one who does this too.
Just getting everyone in the clothes is the tip of the iceberg. Now that everyone looks so dang cute, you want to document it with a picture, right? Well, then you simply transition from menacing threats to bribery. These lovely photos were taking with the aid of jelly beans. Feel free to insert whatever holiday appropriate kickback you have handy for compensation, e.g. Halloween candy, candy canes, or candy hearts.
Of course all the fancy clothes had to come off before I let them dive into this cake. This cake is so unbelievable I actually made it twice in a month. After making it for a dinner party I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so I made it again for Easter.
I substituted Cup 4 Cup gluten free flour for the all purpose flour, which turned out absolutely amazing. Baking with gluten free flour blends will always give you a little bit of a denser crumb, so folding in the egg whites really helped with that as well.
I know you want to eat this cake right now and you don’t want to wait five days for your bananas to get really ripe. So just throw the ones you do have on a foil lined baking sheet in a 400ºF oven for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through, until the skins are completely black. Voila! No excuses. Now go make this cake.
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- 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs, separated and room temperature
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 cups all purpose flour, or all purpose gluten free flour (I highly recommend Cup 4 Cup gluten free flour)
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 3 tbsp. butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 /4 cup + 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 3 ripe bananas
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp. cornstarch
- 3 cups cold heavy cream
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 c. sweetened coconut, toasted (optional)
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray two 9 inch cake pans or three 8 inch cake pans* with cooking spray. Line each bottom with a cut-to-size parchment or wax paper circle. Spray again and set aside.
In a small bowl, mix mashed bananas with lemon juice, set aside. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream 3/4 cup butter with sugar until light and fluffy, at least 4 minutes. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, then stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Stir in banana mixture.
In a separate bowl beat the reserved egg whites until stiff. Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the banana batter, then gently fold in the remaining 2/3 until no streaks remain. Gently pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake 28-30 minutes for 8 inch cake pans* (about 5 minutes longer for 9 inch) until toothpick inserted at center comes out clean. Turn onto wire racks and cool completely.
Put all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until fully incorporated and smooth. If you have an immersion blender, you can put everything in medium sauce pan and just blend it in there.
Pour mixture into medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir frequently until the mixture becomes very thick and starts to boil, about 10-15 minutes.
Remove from heat and cool completely. If you are using it for the cake, I recommend chilling it in the refrigerator for a few hours until cold so it will stick to your cake layers better.
Place the sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Whisk in 3/4 cup of the cream. Place the pan over medium heat and, whisking constantly, bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla, and let cool completely, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, place the remaining 2 1/4 cups cream in the bowl of a stand mixer and refrigerate.
When the cornstarch mixture has cooled, fit the chilled bowl of cream onto the stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whisk on medium speed until tracks begin to show in the cream, about 2 minutes. Add the cornstarch mixture and continue whisking until stiff peaks form, about 1 to 2 minutes more.
Place cake layer on serving platter and pour 1/2 the banana curd filling in the middle and smooth out until it reaches the edge. Gently place 2nd layer on top and repeat. Place top layer on and smooth whipped cream all over the outside of the cake.
If you wish to add the toasted coconut to the sides, I folded a sheet of aluminum foil in half to make it sturdier. Then I placed the foil at the bottom of the cake as I sprinkled the toasted coconut on the sides to catch the coconut falling off. Rotate the cake and repeat around all the sides.
*You can make this using three 8 inch cake pans, but cake layers will be slightly thinner and you will have to reduce baking time.
Gluten Free adaptions: Substitute an all purpose gluten free flour blend, like Cup 4 Cup gluten free flourfor the cake flour. The cake layers may have to bake a few minutes longer, watch carefully.
Make ahead instructions:
You can make the cake layers ahead, cool completely, wrap tightly and freeze until you are ready to assemble the cake.
The banana curd will stay for a couple weeks in the fridge, stored in an airtight container. If you have any leftovers it's great on pancakes, toast, oatmeal, or yogurt.
The whipped cream frosting is very stable and can be stored covered in the fridge for a couple days in an airtight container.
Recipe adapted from iambaker.net